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Remember Suzan Mazur? Who risked all on the Altenberg 16? She has a new book out

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Origin of Life CircusAltenberg 16?: Yes, an exposé of the evolution industry. Quite interesting, because none of the participants were in any way supporters of design or intelligence in nature. They were looking for naturalist solutions. But they couldn’t stand the nonsense and fakery committed in Darwin’s name any more. And maybe some of them thought the solution wasn’t to just end the careers of those who speak up.

Working as a group probably helped them a lot.

Anyway, here’s the new book:

The Origin Of Life Circus: A How To Make Life Extravaganza investigates the politics of origin of life science and synthesizing of life. Suzan Mazur, whose coverage of science began decades ago at Hearst Magazines, takes you into the lab and in conversation with dozens of the world’s greatest thinkers on the subject of origin of life – among them: Jack Szostak, Freeman Dyson, Carl Woese, Dimitar Sasselov, Matthew Powner, James Simons, Harry Lonsdale, Stu Kauffman, Andrew Pohorille, Steve Benner, Dave Deamer, Nigel Goldenfeld, Pier Luigi Luisi, Lawrence Krauss, Lee Smolin, Nick Lane, Jaron Lanier, and more.

Suzan Mazur is the author of The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry (North Atlantic Books). Her reports have appeared in the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, Newsday, Archaeology, Connoisseur, Omni, Huffington Post, Progessive Review, CounterPunch, Scoop Media and other publications, as well as on PBS, CBC, and MBC. She has been a guest on Charlie Rose, McLaughlin and various Fox Television News programs.

Go, girl. And someone buy me a copy. In the meantime, see The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (a brief rundown on why origin of life research is going nowhere and can’t go anywhere)

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27 Replies to “Remember Suzan Mazur? Who risked all on the Altenberg 16? She has a new book out

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    She appeared on Fox Television News? That’s certainly going to ruin her credibility among the Darwin faithful.

  2. 2
    News says:

    So many people have tried to ruin Mazur’s credibility, I’m surprised there isn’t a pressure group called “Smash Mazur,” along the lines of “Hush Rush.”

    People who are so insecure they can only deal with their own reflection in the mirror.

  3. 3
    awstar says:

    I’m surprised there isn’t a pressure group called “Smash Mazur,” along the lines of “Hush Rush.”
    People who are so insecure they can only deal with their own reflection in the mirror.

    It seems they want to squash anything that reminds them of being created by a God who will judge them. Presently their focus is mostly squashing anything that hints at Creation. But they are well on their way to squashing out anything that hints of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

  4. 4
    Florabama says:

    I read Altenberg 16 several years ago, and to this day, when I bring the book up in my discussions with outspoken Darwinists on various message boards, I am amazed that none that I have spoken to so far even know the book exists. It is as if it was never written and the tacit admission it contains that Darwinism has failed, is lost. I think, for most Darwinists, if it isn’t on Talk Origins, it doesn’t matter, but that confirms that Darwinism has lost the intellectual battle. I look forward to Mazur’s new book.

  5. 5

    See A role for (mineral dust) clay in formation of the first cells – Did life originally spring from clay?

    Or:
    http://islam-submission.org/Cr....._Clay.html

    And:
    Xiang V. Zhang and, Scot T. Martin, “Driving Parts of Krebs Cycle in Reverse through Mineral Photochemistry”, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2006 128 (50), 16032-16033
    http://www.seas.harvard.edu/en.....S_2006.pdf
    http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sa.....66103k.pdf
    http://www.seas.harvard.edu/en.....chemistry/

    And sections of:
    https://sites.google.com/site/theoryofid/home/TheoryOfIntelligentDesign.pdf

    If you believe that dust/clay had a role in the creation of livings things including humans then you must likewise provide testable evidence to show that what is explained in both the Quran and Bible is scientifically true. These days having none at all is lame. And the Theory of Intelligent Design is supposed to explain that, not make excuses for not being able to explain anything at all about our creation or our Creator.

  6. 6
    awstar says:

    GSG #5

    If you believe that dust/clay had a role in the creation of livings things including humans then you must likewise provide testable evidence to show that what is explained in both the Quran and Bible is scientifically true.

    Believing something doesn’t require proving it. However, it doesn’t take much science to agree with the following:

    Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return

    Does a human body decompose into something other than what it comprises?
    What does protein return to after it decomposes? Smaller and smaller molecules and elements found in the soil perhaps? And how small can these elements be? Certainly down to the size of dust. Even down to the level of chemical elements, no? And doesn’t the body grow larger by taking these same chemicals and molecules into the body through the process of eating food, which comprises chemicals and molecules found in the soil?

    My question is: Can science say how dirty chemicals become chemically pure within the cell without some sort of designed mechanisms to either select for, or manufacture pure chemicals within the cell? Where did these pure chemicals come from in the very first cell?

    One answer requires little faith. Any other answer requires far, far more faith.

  7. 7
    rvb8 says:

    awstar, really? ‘dirty chemicals’ and ‘pure chemicals’? What the hell does that even mean? If you’re talking about organic life, there are ‘harmful’ chemicals and there are ‘beneficial’ chemicals. Your emotive silliness displays a Freudian predilection for an avoidance of the topic, ‘sex’.

    The Altenberg 16 conference (discussing the “exteded evolutionary synthesis”)at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in 2008 was in no way questioning evolution as a theory, or the significance of Darwin to the origins of that theory.

    Massimo Pigliucci has time and again refuted, ‘you go girl’s’ absolute twaddle. These scientists who happened to number 16 were looking at the new fields of study that were then (and now) baring fruit and confirming, once again, Darwin’s insight.

    (Evolvibility, developmental plasticity,phenotypic and genetic accomodation,punctuated evolution,phenotypic innovation,facilitated variation,epigenetic inheritance,multi-level selection.) I don’t know what most of these terms mean, but I am deeply greatful that they are being investigated and that human knowledge is progressing, as it should, despite the best efforts of the backward yearning faithful.When these areas of study are more fully understood these scientists publish, and then I can enjoy reading about their incredible endeavours.

    None of these question Darwinism, and, ‘you go girl’s’ hack journalism has no right to claim so. (‘Sloppiness’, thy name is the internet.)

    Denyse if you actually believe that Suzan ‘you go girl’ Mazur is some Watergate discloser then tell me, why has her exposition fallen dead? As all other attempts to disable science have failed so will this. To use Pigliucci’s phrase, who was there and contributed, unlike ‘you go girl’, Mazur was from a group that consisted of a variety ‘of nutcases’. Ooops, must be painful.

    Anyway, “You go girl!”

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    News, ‘So many people have tried to ruin Mazur’s credibility..’ Indeed! 16 of whom were at the conference she so flagrantly, and willfully, misrepresented.

    I understand sloppy journalism, I visit this site. But her level of outright fabrication, and distortion, is DI like in its premeditated falsehood.

  9. 9
    awstar says:

    rvb8 #7

    awstar, really? ‘dirty chemicals’ and ‘pure chemicals’? What the hell does that even mean? If you’re talking about organic life, there are ‘harmful’ chemicals and there are ‘beneficial’ chemicals.

    to me, dirty chemicals are those found in dirt. pure chemicals need to be processed through intelligent techniques and are sold by manufacturers. The living cell seems to be able to manufacture pure chemicals very efficiently (e.g. left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars), even more efficiently than human ingenuity can, unless humans mimic the cell, or harness the cell.

    However, a better definition might come from Nobel Prize winner Professor Christian de Duve who coined the term in his book “Singularities: Landmarks on the Pathways of Life”

    So my question to you is: how does the living thing come to convert dirty chemicals into pure chemicals by accident?

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    Denyse if you actually believe that Suzan ‘you go girl’ Mazur is some Watergate discloser then tell me, why has her exposition fallen dead?

    There are a few problems here. I wouldn’t say that her exposition fell dead. We’re discussing it here. But if you wonder why there wasn’t an enormous popularity for her book, Florabama explained it in comment 4. Darwinists have not been interested. Susan Mazur’s exposition mainly gave publicity to what scientists were saying. But almost nobody cares about them – even or especially in the evolutionary community. The scientists themselves criticized Darwinism.

    As all other attempts to disable science have failed so will this.

    Evolutionary biology is doing a good job of disabling itself. That’s what the Altenberg 16 was all about. ‘The theory’, if you can call it that, is in disarray. it only makes ID stronger – and the scientists know that.

  11. 11
    Jerad says:

    awstar #9

    to me, dirty chemicals are those found in dirt. pure chemicals need to be processed through intelligent techniques and are sold by manufacturers.

    and

    So my question to you is: how does the living thing come to convert dirty chemicals into pure chemicals by accident?

    Gee Toto, I’m pretty sure we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

    Let’s think: human bodies contain many of the same chemicals found in dirt . . . does that make us conglomerations of dirty chemicals? It adds a whole new meaning to ‘a dirty mind’ doesn’t it.

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    ‘It adds a whole new meaning to ‘a dirty mind’ doesn’t it.’

    It would to a materialist, for sure. Wouldn’t it, Jerad? Those utterly decadent, prurient, libidinous molecules. Argh!

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    I read Altenberg 16 several years ago, and to this day, when I bring the book up in my discussions with outspoken Darwinists on various message boards, I am amazed that none that I have spoken to so far even know the book exists. It is as if it was never written and the tacit admission it contains that Darwinism has failed, is lost.

    An alternative explanation is that the Alternberg meeting wasn’t as big as Mazur tried to make out.

    I think, for most Darwinists, if it isn’t on Talk Origins, it doesn’t matter, but that confirms that Darwinism has lost the intellectual battle. I look forward to Mazur’s new book.

    I wonder how many Darwinists have even heard of TO. If you go to this year’s Evolution meeting or ESEB and surveyed the participants I suspect you’d find out that a minority have heard of it, and certainly only a small minority use it.

  14. 14
    awstar says:

    Jerad #11

    Let’s think: human bodies contain many of the same chemicals found in dirt . . . does that make us conglomerations of dirty chemicals?

    no. the body cleans them up before it uses them.

    It adds a whole new meaning to ‘a dirty mind’ doesn’t it.

    It is written:

    It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

  15. 15

    awstar:

    Does a human body decompose into something other than what it comprises?
    What does protein return to after it decomposes? Smaller and smaller molecules and elements found in the soil perhaps? And how small can these elements be? Certainly down to the size of dust. Even down to the level of chemical elements, no? And doesn’t the body grow larger by taking these same chemicals and molecules into the body through the process of eating food, which comprises chemicals and molecules found in the soil?

    We are also in good part made of carbon found in dirty looking crude oil that comes out of the ground from chemical decomposition of once living biomass into their most basic chemical components. Our cell membrane phospholipids are mostly hydrocarbon chains made of what tar and oil is also made of. Hydrothermal vents are so rich in nutrients they still support large ecosystems that thrive on their surprisingly (to them) yummy noxious chemical discharge.

    Cracking corn oil carbon chains to 8 or so long each works as well as the high octane=8 distilled out of crude oil to power engines. Motor oil has ingredients not meant to be ingested but the carbon chains that make up the bulk of it can be used to make cleaning agents, including by trapping greasy particles in a membrane they form around it that makes it goes down the sink drain real easy.

    What looks chemically dirty or clean is also relative to what stage of development the environment is at. At one time Earth’s oxygen poor environment allowed carbon to not burn like it would now by having enough atmospheric oxygen to ignite it into CO2 and H2O that plants and other living things will likely many times put back into the biomass again by consuming.

    A synthetic molecule made by reaction at a petroleum factory can be chemically identical to its “naturally occurring” counterpart with long name that makes it seem like only something only found at a chemistry supply company not at a supermarket too. Later on in chemical development the same molecules are being used by chickens to make chicken eggs, that came from food where some of it has carbon that came out of tailpipes, which is just as clean as what spewed out of a volcanoes. We are part of a carbon cycle that develops over time from one in a CO2 environment that simmers well without burning to where the atmosphere where the current O2 levels would cause any spark to blow up the surface of the planet and only make an even bigger dirty looking mess of things.

    awstar:

    My question is: Can science say how dirty chemicals become chemically pure within the cell without some sort of designed mechanisms to either select for, or manufacture pure chemicals within the cell? Where did these pure chemicals come from in the very first cell?

    I’m relatively certain that the design and designer are always being expressed through the behavior of matter. Chemical cycles change and can become more complex over time. From that develops multiple levels of intelligent cause causes one after another to emerge that are all systematically in each others image, likeness.

    Being able to learn over time makes intelligence a very powerful thing, which takes control of any favorable environment they can have control of. When Confidence is well enough influencing Guessing into Memory for Motor actions there is soon little guess work needed, the intelligence on its own learns how to do whatever it does very well. Experience with modeling the most basic systematics of intelligence can provide healthy respect for the one science papers are just now beginning to describe that exists at our molecular level of our being. Only something very intelligent could produce molecular designs but what that is is harder where you never had that mad-scientist “it’s alive!” moment from having something relatively simple properly working together. When intelligence is in a model you know it, by not being the flatline random behavior anymore. This experience helps make it self-evident why once started intelligence that begins at the molecular level in time become real good at desiging intelligent living things, of many kinds.

    In my opinion knowledge of how “designed mechanisms” are intelligently designed by an intelligent designer is becoming necessary, in science. But of course in this case the designer not left up to the imagination. The sheer complexity of designs at the molecular/genetic intelligence level are testament to it’s design power and how much information is stored that is way beyond the DNA and in the RNA of the cell cytoplasm that where given control (becomes a somatic cell) causes the cell to intelligently differentiate into a large number of possibilities. This designer is still part of our conscious “mind” that’s more than neurons, it’s something “eternal” that has been with our lineage all along now being expressed through us. At the genetic level of our germ cells neural brains get it from one thought to the next and works in parallel as a collective such that not all have to have offspring for the billions of years old intelligence to stay going. This can help explain a source of a number of religious concepts that fill a need to celebrate life’s stages could very well be from a part of us that keeps its intelligence going through reproduction of its entire brain. A little bit of each ancestor is epigenetically added to gametes that become offspring, as though our experience while growing to maturity is in its thoughts that get passed down along the way that goes into more ancestral detail than is stored in the DNA code alone.

    All sciences are to be influenced by a “reciprocal cause” that by standard scientific naming convention is more precisely “intelligent cause” at work in physics, chemistry, biology, etc.. What the Discovery Institute could ultimately offer would be the 50 or so pages of theory text I wrote expanded out in detail to several hundred page university textbook that covers all of the sciences except Darwinian theory where it’s an outside view of what intelligence causes, not a model of intelligent processes. This results in repeatingly pointing and exclaiming “natural selection” at a screen to show what is happening in an ID model that is not influenced by what they say to the machine running the code that determines all that happens inside a virtual world full of intelligent living things. I’m OK with whatever Larry Moran and others who develop Darwinian theory feel is best for the theory they teach and explain. I’m happy to be able to right away leave all that up to them, while I focus on the theory I more or less teach and explain around the internet. The only thing I have to explain is why the ID theory does not contain or need Darwinian theory specific variables such as “natural selection”. None are not found anywhere in the ID theory, and it must stay that way or else it’s arguing against another theory not a theory that stands on its own scientific merit without the other. Evolutionary biologists end up only having to get used to the ID movement off following the evidence wherever it leads somewhere else instead of hounding them along the one they’re exploring that leads to an outside view of things, not the inside one ID theory is premised to explain. Theory that shows how much else there is left to explore makes science big enough for all of us.

    You can say that Darwinian theory has already having been put in its place by an ID theory, but since in this case evolutionary biology is expected to go on as always while adapting to such challenges it can seem like ID theory is making no progress at all.

    What matters is that there is no longer need for scientific conflict between the two entirely different theories. There is no one defeating the other. ID winning in science is only possible by useful scientific theory being added to it, not taken away.

    Expecting Darwinian theory to have been shown to be false misses the winning tactics that have one holding its own in the greater scientific arena, where many expect models and theory to experiment with and were not dissapointed. Darwinian theory is no longer even a challenger, which makes it unnecessary to even challenge. What does within limits of science make the score of the century for ID movement is useful theory that the opposition has reasons to like over what was presented at the Dover trial. The ID movement wanted a theory and now it has all that on into cognitive science to figure out. It’s in a way poetic justic type revenge for wanting to develop scientific theory to explain how intelligent cause works. The opposition to ID becomes more likely to help coax it on, just to see what happens. Better that than be obliged to prove false something simple from 1800’s that does not even matter to scientifically real ID theory, now being developed at UD by my comments over the past several days that explain more I did not write about yet. It’s still an ID movement thing even though the evidence only fits together the way it does to make intelligence not yet dreamed of by scientists make scientific sense, in such a very faith-friendly way.

    From my perspective science is already able to explain much more about designed mechanisms. The problem now is the information overload of science papers and information for us to try keeping up with.

  16. 16
    awstar says:

    GSG #15

    You can say that Darwinian theory has already having been put in its place by an ID theory, but since in this case evolutionary biology is expected to go on as always while adapting to such challenges it can seem like ID theory is making no progress at all.

    What matters is that there is no longer need for scientific conflict between the two entirely different theories. There is no one defeating the other. ID winning in science is only possible by useful scientific theory being added to it, not taken away.

    Expecting Darwinian theory to have been shown to be false misses the winning tactics that have one holding its own in the greater scientific arena, where many expect models and theory to experiment with and were not dissapointed. Darwinian theory is no longer even a challenger, which makes it unnecessary to even challenge. What does within limits of science make the score of the century for ID movement is useful theory that the opposition has reasons to like over what was presented at the Dover trial. The ID movement wanted a theory and now it has all that on into cognitive science to figure out. It’s in a way poetic justic type revenge for wanting to develop scientific theory to explain how intelligent cause works. The opposition to ID becomes more likely to help coax it on, just to see what happens. Better that than be obliged to prove false something simple from 1800?s that does not even matter to scientifically real ID theory, now being developed at UD by my comments over the past several days that explain more I did not write about yet. It’s still an ID movement thing even though the evidence only fits together the way it does to make intelligence not yet dreamed of by scientists make scientific sense, in such a very faith-friendly way.

    From my perspective science is already able to explain much more about designed mechanisms. The problem now is the information overload of science papers and information for us to try keeping up with.

    I’ll let you scientists duke it out, now that faith-based Darwinism is dead. I’ll stick with my faith-based Bible Creationism, thank-you very much. It’s looking more and more reasonable every day.

  17. 17
    rvb8 says:

    “In my opinion knowledge of how “designed mechanisms” are intelligently designed by an intelligent designer is becoming necessary, in science.”

    No! It’s not Gary S. Gaulin. Your tedious speil is one reason ID is becoming more and more less relevant. YEC have an idea of God, as a prime mover. OK, it’s fatuous, childish, wish fulfillment, but that is their position. Scientists say, chemicals combined, and under the catalyzing influence of energy (UV, light, heat, electro-magnetism, gravity) produced proteins, RNA, DNA, cells, life! This has the benefit of being testable.

    Your word spaghetti does nothing to further your side’s tedious claim that ‘goddidit’. I have no respect for YEC, but at least they don’t bafflegarb!

  18. 18

    Awstar I have to say that Evolutionary Creationism is still doing well. It’s just not the only thing around anymore that’s also making sense according to routine academic science.

    The way I see it in between the Creationism extremes is finding out what our chromosomal Adam and Eve ancestors looked like instead of just believing (or not) that they did. Of course not all even care to get into all that scientific detail, which makes it an area only someone like me would even want to search in answers. Either way, ID theory I defend provides a scientific premise for theory from which Biblical Creationism gains new respect for at least predicting (what scientific naming convention calls) “chromosomal speciation” being possible.

    Darwinian evolutionary theory still holds true even though what BioLogos (which is more or less an anti-ID movement that grew out of the ID controversy) would take on religious faith from that is religion. I honestly do have to say that I think BioLogos did a splendid job of helping to define the Creationisms in a logical way that makes Atheism a sect of Evolutionary Creationism. It’s not all bad for Biblical Creationism and ID that mission was at least a success for them. Making ID go away is not going to happen, but explaining why Atheism is indeed a religion has become easier. Progress can together be made, even when BioLogos doesn’t know they are like feeding their enemy with their tactics.

  19. 19

    And it seems like I have to say; welcome to this forum rvb8. The floor is yours, and I’m all ears. Just go ahead and show what you got by better explaining how intelligent cause works. I’ll be tooting for you!

  20. 20
    Florabama says:

    Bob O’H @ 13 it was a big deal. You can spin it however you wish, but at its core, it was 16 of the world’s leading evolutionary scientists looking for a new evolutionary mechanism because the Modern Synthesis aka Neo-Darwinism, has completely failed to explain what is known about life. To quote Joe Biden, “That’s a big f-ing deal.” While there was an effort by the 16 to low key this, that was only because they know the stakes and didn’t want to be seen as unorthodox and giving ammunition to creationists, but every failure of Darwinism does. Mazur picked up on it because, as a good reporter, she caught the drift of what was happening. Self organization seems destined to the same fate. See Stephen Meyer, Signature in the Cell,

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    Florabama – if it was such a big deal, how come nobody noticed?

    If biologists were “scientists looking for a new evolutionary mechanism”, they wouldn’t spend a weekend in a workshop to do it. What they could do is synthesise the new information that’s coming in, mainly through advances in molecular biology. This has brought up several issues we hadn’t dealt with (e.g. epigenetics), and getting a deeper knowledge of issues we had been grappling with (e.g. epistasis) has been an issue. But I don’t think we’ve needed a new evolutionary mechanism (epigenetics comes close, but you can still use the Price equation on it:-)).

    if evolution were in such a crisis, and if the Alternberg 16 had managed to create a new evolutionary biology, then I would have expected the area to have changed direction much more than it has. Several of the areas they discussed were sexy then, but have lost their appeal. Others are slow burners (I think epigenetics might be in this category, and phenotypic plasticity certainly is).

  22. 22
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O

    if evolution were in such a crisis,

    If evolution was as certain as it is claimed to be there would be no Altenberg event. The 16 exposed serious weaknesses in the theory. If they’re right, evolution is in a crisis. If they’re wrong, what does it say about some of the best minds in evolutionary science? They don’t know their own theory? It’s an internal problem in the biological community – of course it will be opposed and covered-up. Which evolutionists want to admit that their beloved ideas are wrong? Even the 16 compete with each other for the next best thing – or to become the new Darwin. That’s what you should expect – not harmony.

    and if the Alternberg 16 had managed to create a new evolutionary biology,

    Nobody said they did. Far from it. They can’t put together a coherent new theory. All they did was expose problems with the current model.

    then I would have expected the area to have changed direction much more than it has.

    There’s no consensus on where the new direction should go. That indicates how much of a crisis evolution is dealing with. Biologists deny that there are any weaknesses at all with the theory. Others basically want something entirely different. That’s why it’s a crisis and not merely something newer and better replacing the old.

    Several of the areas they discussed were sexy then, but have lost their appeal.

    And yet another evidnce of crisis for evolution. The problems those ‘sexy’ ideas attempted to solve haven’t gone away. It’s the solutions that lost appeal.

    The Others are slow burners (I think epigenetics might be in this category, and phenotypic plasticity certainly is).

    Slow burners because it’s going to take a long time to validate them and they conflict with existing paradigms (and are thus opposed).

  23. 23
    sparc says:

    Readers should know what Massimo Pigliucci the organizer of the Altenberg meeting had to say about its reception by creationists and ID proponents:

    The so-called “Woodstock of evolution” (not my term, and a pretty bad one for sure) will see a group of scientists, by now known as “the Altenberg 16” (because there are sixteen of us, and we’ll meet at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for theoretical biology in Altenberg, near Vienna) has been featured on blogs by a variety of nutcases, as well as the quintessential ID “think” tank, the Discovery Institute of Seattle. They have presented the workshop that I am organizing in collaboration with my colleague Gerd Müller, and the proceedings of which will be published next year by MIT Press, as an almost conspiratorial, quasi-secret cabala, brought to the light of day by the brave work of independent journalists and “scholars” bent on getting the truth out about evolution. Of course, nothing could be further from the (actual) truth.

  24. 24
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic –

    The 16 exposed serious weaknesses in the theory.

    Did they? What weaknesses?

  25. 25
    Bob O'H says:

    Hm, I didn’t phrase that comment as well as I could. I should have added “serious” at the very least.

    Evolution isn’t complete as a theory (what is?), but I think the foundation is pretty solid, and what the Alternberg 16 were discussing was adding to it, mainly because of a need to include new data (e.g. epigenetics, evo-devo). I think this would only suggest “serious weaknesses” if these issues were to show that current theory is wrong, rather than incomplete.

    If the programme the Alternberg 16 had been pushing had come to fruition, then I think evolutionary biology would look different, because it would have different emphases, rather than because the old theory had been discarded. So the Wright-Fisher model, for example, would still be a part of the core, even if the theory went way beyond it.

  26. 26
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    I’m glad you added a clarification. We have statments from prominent evolutionists that ‘there are no weaknesses’ in evolutionary theory. You’ve wisedly added ‘serious’. Of course, that’s an ambiguous and subjective term. Take a look at what evoluionist Stuart Newman said, quoted in the Mazur book:

    New York Medical College cell biologist Stuart Newman in an interview with me for Archaeology magazine said this:

    “I believe that the field will have to reorient I don’t by any means think the science that’s been done under the Darwinian paradigm will disappear or will be seen to be entirely invalid. But the Darwinian mechanism that’s used to explain all evolutionary change will be relegated, I believe, to being just one of the several mechanisms – maybe not even the most important when it comes to understanding macroevolution, the evolution of major transitions in body type.”

    He assures us that science done under the Darwinian paradigm (primacy of natural selection) won’t be “entirely invalid”.

    I understand defenders and apologists and propagandists will claim this doesn’t indicate a serious problem.

    In fairness, though, if you look around at biologists who are backing away from neo-Darwinian claims (it’s a growing number), the qualification added to claims (no ‘serious’ weaknesses), and the failure to decide upon a new formulation of ‘the theory’ … there are very serious weaknesses to be found.

    Mazur’s book is 8 years old. The problems with evolution that were exposed there have only increased. Ideas on alternatives to neo-Darwinism have increased also, with no consensus on the horizon.

  27. 27
    Bob O'H says:

    there are very serious weaknesses to be found.

    What are these “serious weaknesses”?

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